White & Church in TriBeCa, New York, serves worm, scorpion, and cricket cocktails

This past summer, White & Church opened in TriBeCa, New York, as an inventive Italian restaurant with an extensive cocktail list. On the drink menu, not only will you find interesting food-based cocktails such as a Bloody Mary mixed with mussels, as well as nature-inspired libations including a martini made from smoked tree-bark, you will also find cocktails that include bugs.

No more are the days when you can get a drink on the house if you find an insect in your vodka. At White & Church, that insect is actually a garnish.

Some of the bug cocktail options you can sample here, according to Brian Niemietz of the New York Post, include:

  • Summer-This piña-colada style drink is garnished with bamboo (don’t eat) and crickets (eat). Supposedly, they add an element of sweetness to the cocktail.
  • Blue Velvet- This brandy-based libation is a mixture of Sambucca and Créme de Menthe and is topped with a scorpion. Don’t worry, it’s not alive.
  • Why Not- This frozen cocktail is similar to a margarita with the addition of avocado, red pepper, and spicy worms.

Want to see how these cocktails are made for yourself? Check out this video:


Explore Thailand right from TriBeCa, New York

Beaches of Khao Lak in Thailand On October 17, 2011, from 6:30-9:30 PM, ProjectExplorer.org will debut their fifth film series, “Sawasdee, Thailand”. The film will be in high definition, so if you’ve never walked down the bustling streets of Bangkok or relaxed on a beach in Khao Lak, here is your chance to get a feeling of what it’s like to visit Thailand. The event is being held at the Tribeca Grand Hotel and is being co-hosted by Andrew McCarthy, travel writer and actor, Jenny M. Buccos, the ProjectExplorer.org’s series creator, and another special guest.

Not only is this event a chance for attendees to get a closer look at what Thailand has to offer, it’s also an opportunity to network with other like-minded, travel enthusiasts. There will also be various raffles, giving people a chance to win travel-themed prizes, tickets to live shows, jewelry, lessons, and more. Interested parties should click here to purchase tickets to the event.

ProjectExplorer.org is a nonprofit organization founded by Jenny M. Buccos that produces free, online global travel series. The aim of their work is to expose primary and secondary school students and educators to people and places that they have never seen before. Through their website, teachers and students have access to over 250 videos, more 1,200 images, and over 150 cross-curricular lesson plans.

Virgin Atlantic rolls out the red carpet for its 25th Anniversary

As both Grant and Scott have mentioned recently, Virgin Atlantic is celebrating its 25th year in operation. As we’ve come to realize here at Gadling, the team at Virgin Atlantic is never one to turn down an opportunity to party. This past Monday in New York City, the Virgin crew once again made good on this reputation for star-studded celebration, inviting friends and family together for a raucous soiree at the Tribeca Rooftop event space in celebration of more than 25 years in service.

On hand was a roster of celebrity attendees including airline founder Sir Richard himself as well as Samuel L. Jackson and some surprise musical acts (more on that shortly). Upon arrival, guests were invited to land a virtual Virgin Atlantic plane on the party’s flight simulator, play free old-school 1980′s arcade games, and plop themselves down in models of Virgin’s comfy business class seating arrangements. Upstairs was an open-air roofdeck with panoramic views of downtown Manhattan and the Hudson River. As the evening ramped up, attendees were treated to a surprise private concert by 80′s pop star Deniece Williams as well as some bombastic DJ moves by Norman Cook, aka Fatboy Slim.

In service of our dear readers and knowing what’s best in travel, the writers at Gadling forced themselves to stop by this fun little event to see what was up. Rest assured, we’ll invite you guys along for the fun next time. In the meantime, you can take a voyeuristic peek at the good times in our gallery below.

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New York’s Eating Scene Gets Cheap

After you return home from your trip to New York City, what are people going to ask you? Did you see the Statue of Liberty? Did you ride the subway? Did you eat at one of those restaurants?

Your answers in order might be: Yes, yes, and it was just too damn expensive.

Eating in New York is pricey, especially if you want to go for the complete experience at the high end. For the remainder of July, though, more than 200 of the city’s restaurateurs will celebrate NYC Summer Restaurant Week by making their product more accessible to the hot-dog-cart-frequenting, subway-riding masses.

Meal prices are set at $24.07 for lunch and $35.00 for dinner. Sadly, that does not include beverages, tax, or tip.

The best aspect of Restaurant Week is that it is not confined to one neighborhood of the city or one type of cuisine. Diners can try funky fusion dishes at Vong’s in Midtown, rub shoulders with New York tend-setters at the TriBeCa Grill, or swirl pasta on their forks at Centovini in SoHo.

It’s probably best to get reservations at one of the many participating restaurants. That is unless you are prepared to pay a hefty bribe to the maitre d’.

Those who don’t care for the heat of New York in summertime can wait for NYC Winter Restaurant Week, which is normally held in late January.

Photo via Flickr user Plate of the Day